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Editorial Board: A response to the Capital Gazette shooting

Last Thursday, five people were killed for doing their job and exercising their first amendment right to publish.

The Daily Lobo stands in solidarity with the victims and staff of the Capital Gazette as they grieve during this horrible tragedy.

As astonishing and shocking as this event is, in the worldwide community of journalism, such events are not unheard of.

In late April, 10 Afghani journalists were killed in a single day by a suicide bomber after being lured into the area by an explosion set up for them.

Six journalists have been killed in Mexico so far this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Both Mexico and Afghanistan rank among the most dangerous countries for journalists to work.

American journalists are fortunate that, for the most part, their lives are not in constant danger while reporting.

However, the American populations’ view of the media continues to worsen every year. A 2016 Gallup poll stated that only 32 percent of Americans “have a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.”

We cannot ignore the effect that terms such as “fake news,” propagated by many government officials, have created on our nation’s psyche. People hold little faith in the validity of news organizations and the hard work of their reporters.

We know the man who killed five people at the Capital Gazette possessed a long and vocal hatred toward the newspaper for publishing articles about a sexual harassment case he lost in 2011. He did not choose the paper as some random target — it was an act of vengeance.

Politicians must be reminded that the tone they use when speaking of journalists' matters. It matters just as much as when Milo Yiannopolous calls for the “gunning down of journalists on sight.” Even in jest, such words can have disastrous effects.

Even after a terrible loss of coworkers and friends, the Capital still published a paper the next day, showing the level of commitment journalists have to informing the general public on a daily basis.

Why do journalists continue to do so much work for little pay, especially when their safety is threatened? Simply, in order for a democracy to function effectively, the citizenry must hold their elected officials accountable and remain informed. This is the job of news outlets, one that will endure as long as there are stories to report.

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The Daily Lobo Editorial Board consists of Editor-in-Chief Kyle Land and News Editor Madison Spratto. They can be reached at or respectively, or on Twitter @DailyLobo.

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